Mathematics and Humor: A Study of the Logic of Humor (Google eBook)

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, Aug 4, 2008 - Mathematics - 124 pages
10 Reviews
John Allen Paulos cleverly scrutinizes the mathematical structures of jokes, puns, paradoxes, spoonerisms, riddles, and other forms of humor, drawing examples from such sources as Rabelais, Shakespeare, James Beattie, René Thom, Lewis Carroll, Arthur Koestler, W. C. Fields, and Woody Allen.

"Jokes, paradoxes, riddles, and the art of non-sequitur are revealed with great perception and insight in this illuminating account of the relationship between humor and mathematics."—Joseph Williams, New York Times

"'Leave your mind alone,' said a Thurber cartoon, and a really complete and convincing analysis of what humour is might spoil all jokes forever. This book avoids that danger. What it does. . .is describe broadly several kinds of mathematical theory and apply them to throw sidelights on how many kinds of jokes work."—New Scientist

"Many scholars nowadays write seriously about the ludicrous. Some merely manage to be dull. A few—like Paulos—are brilliant in an odd endeavor."—Los Angeles Times Book Review
  

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Review: Mathematics and Humor: A Study of the Logic of Humor

User Review  - Dave - Goodreads

John Allen Paulos has written a number of books on Mathematics, and “Mathematics and Humor” was his first, published originally in 1980. It is a short book, at just a little over 100 pages, and that ... Read full review

Review: Mathematics and Humor: A Study of the Logic of Humor

User Review  - Omar Aittakalla - Goodreads

I just finished reading this book. It starts with a brief summary of the most famous theories on humor. But the second and the third chapters are very vague full of mathematical equations. Quite ... Read full review

All 5 reviews »

Contents

2 Axioms Levels and Iteration
19
3 SelfReference and Paradox
41
4 Humor Grammar and Philosophy
57
5 A Catastrophe Theory Model of Jokes and Humor
75
6 Odds and the End
101
References
109
Index
113
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About the author (2008)

John Allen Paulos is professor of mathematics at Temple University. His most recent book is Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences.

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